The Power of One: Theological Reflections on Loneliness

We do not like to talk about loneliness. We like even less to talk about the experience that faith does not automatically heal it. This is a problem, but what if it does not have to be that way? What if we can tap into loneliness as a source of personal empowerment?

In The Power of One, Anette Ejsing makes exactly this case. Relying on personal stories, she first shows why romantic, spiritual, and social loneliness are particularly difficult to understand in the context of Christian faith. She then reflects theologically on these three kinds of loneliness, and describes it as a mystery that faith both does and does not heal them. In response to this mystery, she suggests thinking about loneliness as a privilege.

Arguing from the perspective of a theology of suffering, she encourages each of us to tell our loneliness story from the perspective of the end God has in mind for us. This means accepting and embracing loneliness as a means through which God raises us up and strengthens us to persevere in joy and faith. Learning to do this is a privilege that gives us the opportunity to experience loneliness as a source of personal empowerment.

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This is a wonderful book of wisdom. I hope it will be read widely. Anette Ejsing reflects on our lives in a way that is very impressive.   — Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University

I hope every pastoral student will have the opportunity to read this book. It combines Augustinian confessions on loneliness for the twenty-first century, piety informed by theology, theology inspired by astute observation of the human, all-too-human, and freedom to agree and to disagree. It is a book that can make you grow beyond the easy solutions.   — Antje Jackelén, Arch Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden

It is surprising that a book about romantic, spiritual and social loneliness could be such a joyful and hopeful book.  This book is that and more; it is also a beautiful book.  Anette Ejsing has a gift for asking the right questions.  She also has a gift for answering them in a way that is personal, powerful, and helpful, speaking with equal clarity to both heart and mind.   — David O’Hara, Augustana College

Theology of Anticipation: A Constructive Study of C.S. Peirce

Is hope an attitude of wishful thinking, or is it a volitional appropriation of what is to come? What does it mean to believe in a divine promise, anticipating but not experiencing its fulfillment?

Theology of Anticipation explores and integrates C. S. Peirce’s philosophy, his strong but ambiguous links to the tradition of 19th century classical German philosophy, the unique way he managed to resurrect this tradition’s theoretical content in the American context, his semiotic epistemology of anticipation, theory of abduction, and the implicit theism of his philosophy of religion.

Introducing Wolfhart Pannenberg’s philosophical theology of anticipation in this context, and discussing it in light of Peirce’s epistemological application of the theory of abduction, Anette Ejsing then proposes a Peircean theology of anticipation. She offers a constructive reading of Peirce’s work in the form of a new model for how both rational inquirers and believing theologians take for real in the present what belongs permanently to the future. This is to suggest that our pursuit of cognitive fulfillment as well as personal fulfillment, of understanding and meaning, is anchored ina promise of fulfillment and therefore always essentially is an expression of anticipatory hope.

Theology of Anticipation shares the view that Peirce’s religious writing is an essential but incomplete part of his philosophy. It therefore recognizes other interpretive approaches to Peirce’s philosophy of religion and offers some critical comments to Michael L. Raposa’s theosemiotic and Robert S. Corrington’s Peircean theology of divine potentialities.

You can buy the book for kr. 150,- (shipping included for addresses in Denmark) by filling out this contact form.

Review by Amos Young in Religious Studies Review, vol. 35, issue 4 (2009), p. 242. (Registration required for full online access.)

Review by John Pahucki in American Journal of Theology and Philosophy, vol. 29, issue 3 (2008), p. 308. “Ejsing’s study of Peirce is ambitious; the task to which she has set herself is nothing less than the reconciliation of Peirce’s philosophical and religious writings—a problem which has perennially challenged Peirce scholarship—grounded in a bold new interpretation of Peirce that locates him firmly within the landscape of post-Kantian philosophy. Specifically, Peirce, like the later Schelling and Wolfhart Pannenberg (both of whom receive considerable treatment) proposes a metaphysics “that is able to meet the requirements established by Kant’s critical philosophy” (58). Upon this reading, Ejsing presents us with a Peircean “theology of anticipation” that overcomes the incongruity between Peirce’s philosophical and religious writings by demonstrating the pivotal role that abduction plays in both.” (Registration required for full online access.)